This paper utilizes data collected over an eight year period, during which the authors surveyed all 1,464 students who came through a Canadian inner city juvenile detention–centre, as well as all of the full-time staff who were responsible for their immediate care. Although the authors have previously profiled the 1,464 students who had gone on to be officially identified as “young offenders” (criminal), they have never formally explored and reported on the staff interviews. Thus, in this paper they do just that, juxtaposing the staff’s perceptions of the “young offenders” they work with, (twelve to sixteen year old incarcerated males and females), to the wealth of both historical and current literature which has been generated within the larger juvenile delinquency domain. In doing this, they are able to identify two significant areas of concern for educators in trying to better understand and program for the unique, but very at-risk and marginalized population with whom they work. At minimum, this paper hopes to inform educators of, and encourage them to resist the inherent biases which can set in motion prophecies of their students which eventually become self-fulfilling.
|Keywords:||At-risk Student, Marginalized Youth, Socioeconomic Status, School Failure, Intelligence Tests, Juvenile Delinquency, Criminality, Self-fulfilling Prophecy, Socio-economic Status, Young Offenders|
Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Education, Nipissing University, North Bay, Ontario, Canada
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